So many incredible things are happening in medicine these days helping you to protect yourself and your family. Doctor Mark Hiatt, Executive Medical Director at Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield joins Brian and Amanda on Utah’s morning news to talk about 3 new and amazing medical advances you should be keeping your eye on.
1. SCIENTISTS MAY HAVE IDENTIFIED AN ANXIETY CELL IN THE BRAIN
Anxiety is a common problem for many people in the country. 1 in 5 Americans suffers from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders involve excessive worry that doesn’t go away. These disorders include generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and social anxiety disorders.
Now, scientists have found specialized brain cells in mice that appear to control anxiety levels. Scientists are finding out how anxiety is triggered and how it can be suppressed. All using mice.
Scientists put mice into a maze. Inside the maze, some of the paths led to open spaces. Mice tend to be afraid of open spaces. Then scientists monitored the mice’s brain activity when they entered these open spaces. They found that the anxious mice have some cells dedicated to making them worry. The hope is that if we can control these cells, we can control anxiety.
2. ANOTHER FLU-LIKE ILLNESS YOU MAY CATCH THIS SEASON
A lot of people are coming down with the flu, but another family of viruses, known as adenoviruses, often mimic the common seasonal sickness. With symptoms like a runny nose, cough, sore throat, breathing problems, fever, and headache it may be what you are suffering from this season.
Adenoviruses, unlike the flu, are not seasonal. You can suffer from it throughout the year! Most of the time, these adenoviruses produce flu-like illness, with symptoms usually lasting about 10 days. But, adenoviruses can also cause conjunctivitis, diarrhea, bladder infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and rarely encephalitis and meningitis.
Coughing, sneezing, direct contact with an infected person, or touching infected objects and surfaces, such as a door handles and light switches, where the viruses can survive for long periods, even weeks is how adenoviruses can spread. So make sure to always wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face.
3. A PACEMAKER FOR YOUR BRAIN
We’ve all heard of a pacemaker for the heart, but what about a pacemaker for the brain?
In the past, an implant with electrical wires in the brain has positively stimulated patients with Parkinson’s disease, and today, this implant is even being evaluated in the treatment of Alzheimer’sAlzheimer’s disease.
A recent study showed that this implant that stimulates the frontal region of the brain may help Alzheimer’s patients retain cognitive, behavioral, and functional abilities longer while also improving their quality of life. Finally, this new treatment may help people with Alzheimer’s with a wide array of daily activities, like making good decisions, making their bed, choosing what to eat, and having meaningful interactions with friends and family.